Most helpful positive review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2012
Medicine for the Soul is described as being a complete introduction to shamanic healing and it is indeed this, yet it is also far more.
Ross takes a contemporary generic view of the word 'shaman' as 'anyone who works in a shamanic way to provide healing, counselling, or divination which is undertaken in partnership with spirit guides, allies and helpers.' Throughout the book though he weaves in examples of how other cultures work, in shamanic healing, which gives a sense of how practices are adapted to meet the needs of each culture and of how we need to do the same within our own.
If you are interested in shamanic healing, then Medicine for the Soul provides a comprehensive overview with chapters on: Journeying to the Shaman's World, Finding Your Power, Tools and Techniques of Power, Healing the Energy Body, Spirit Extraction and Soul Healing, Counselling and the Future, Working with the Souls of the Dead, Plant Spirit Shamanism and Ethics.
If though, you would like to develop your own shamanic healing skills, learn about and work on healing yourself, then you can use Medicine for the Soul as a workbook, doing as much of the practice, the exercises, answering the questions and testing yourself as is useful or relevant for you.
If however, you would really like to learn how to become a shamanic healer you can chose to take the diploma route, do all the work and there is a lot, pass an exam and have your skills recognised by Ross Heaven's organisation, The Four Gates Foundation.
This is not the quick fix that it may at first seem and is a long way from; read a book, do the exercises, become a healer. There are numerous practices and exercises to work through covering a wide range of different aspects of shamanic healing and a journal of journeys, exercises, dreams etc also needs to be kept. Time needs to be given to the practice between exercises and time left between journeys, yet at the same time the work is continuous. Once started this can really become a life long journey and it begins with learning about and starting, or continuing, to heal yourself.
Medicine for the Soul is set out clearly with each chapter explaining what the chapter covers, suggesting additional reading to deepen your knowledge, listing any equipment required and of course delivering the chapter content itself. Throughout the chapters are practices for you to do and finally exercises to develop your skills. In each chapter there are also questions designed to check your understanding.
Having tried some of the practices and exercises in the book, my one criticism is that there is a lot to tease out of the practices, in terms of what you are supposed to do. It might be worth working this out and writing down what you are to do, before attempting the practice elements, the exercises themselves are much clearer.
As someone who has worked in shamanic healing for some time, with almost all her teaching coming from her guides, I know that Medicine for the Soul will help me to develop aspects of shamanic healing that I have not yet been called on to work with. I can also see how it will help me understand more about what I already do.
Medicine for the Soul is an excellent book, the best book I have come across so far on shamanic healing. I would definitely recommend it to anyone with any interest at all in shamanic healing or becoming a shamanic healer.